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|Broadcast area||Greater St. Louis|
|Branding||FM News Talk 97.1|
|Slogan||In Touch and Up to Date|
|Frequency||97.1 MHz FM (also on HD Radio) 97.1-2 FM "MyRedLounge"
97.1-3 FM Radio Disney
|Translator(s)||98.7 K254CR (St. Louis)|
|Repeater(s)||1490 KFTK (East St. Louis)|
|First air date||1977|
|HAAT||171 meters (561 feet)|
|Callsign meaning||K FM TalK|
|Former callsigns||KSCF (1977–1980)
|Affiliations||Westwood One Network
Fox News Radio
(Emmis Radio License, LLC)
KFTK-FM (97.1 MHz) is a commercial radio station licensed to Florissant, Missouri, broadcasting to the Greater St. Louis media market. KFTK-FM airs a news/talk radio format and featuring local and nationally syndicated conservative hosts. Owned by Emmis Communications, the station's studios are located in the Powerhouse building at St. Louis Union Station, while the transmitter is located off Norwood Drive in O'Fallon. KFTK-FM's programming is also simulcast on AM 1490 KFTK in East St. Louis, Illinois and on FM translator station K254CR at 98.7 FM in St. Louis.
It is affiliated with Fox News Radio and on weekdays features Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Brian Kilmeade, Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, and This Morning, America's First News with Gordon Deal. Weekends include Glenn Beck and Jonathan Brandmeier.
Local talent includes former KMOV reporter Jamie Allman (morning host), Marc Cox (early afternoons) and Dave Glover (late afternoons), the lawyer-turned-comedy/current events talk show host whom the station developed its lineup around when it changed to a talk radio format. Other local weekend talent include Dr. Randy Tobler, Bob Stockdale (money talk), Rodney Boyd (Insider Talk), Stacy Washington (Stacy on the Right) & Annie Frey.
The station originally signed on the air in 1977, as KSCF. The call letters stood for St. Charles and Florissant. The station featured a middle of the road/easy listening format. One of the original owners was Harlan "Grant" Horton, a longtime St. Louis broadcaster at KSD, WRTH, KMOX, KXOK AM 630 and WEW. The sign on of 97.1 caused KADI-FM to move from its original frequency of 96.5 to 96.3 to accommodate the new radio station.
K-Lite 97.1/Breeze 97/Hot 97
In 1980, after the KCFM call letters were dropped by 93.7, they were picked up by 97.1, and the station aired an Adult Contemporary format until 1985, when the call letters would change once again to KLTH "K-Lite 97", with a Soft Adult Contemporary format. KLTH gradually segued into a format called "Breeze 97," which was "New Adult Contemporary," an early predecessor to the Smooth Jazz format. In 1989, the station was sold once again, and the new owners flipped the station to Top 40 as "Hot 97" with the call letters KHTK. The Top 40 format ended when former Top 40 station WKBQ was briefly under lease by the station's owner Saul Frischling of Pittsburgh, and both top 40 stations were merged at 106.5, taking personalities from both stations.
Mix 97.1 KXOK
In November 1992, the station changed call letters to KXOK-FM, and flipped to Urban AC as "Mix 97-1", after the Urban Oldies format from the former KXOK (630 AM) was moved to FM. "Mix" would try to compete with the Urban AC leader in St. Louis, KMJM ("Majic 108"). The two stations simulcasted briefly before the AM was taken off the air completely, pending a sale to a religious broadcaster.
97FM The Rock
In 1998, Frischling sold KXOK to the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owned ABC affiliate KDNL. In September of that year, the Urban format was dropped, and the station began simulcasting KPNT. On September 25, KXOK began stunting with a 48-hour loop of "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns 'n' Roses. Two days later, KXOK switched formats to classic rock as "The Rock" while retaining the KXOK-FM call letters. The station enjoyed the most success seen on the frequency to that date as a competitor to Emmis Communications' KSHE.
97.1 FM Talk
In the fall of 2000, Emmis Communications added to its St. Louis radio portfolio by purchasing properties from Sinclair Broadcasting, which wanted to focus on its television properties. The sale to Emmis led KXOK and KSHE to become sister stations. Upon purchasing KXOK, and to avoid overlap with KSHE, KXOK changed formats to talk radio on October 16, 2000; the call letters changed to KFTK two days later. Initially, the station focused on a female audience, which included such syndicated personalities as Bob and Sheri, Dr. Joy Browne, Clark Howard, Dr. Laura, Phil Hendrie, Rhona at Night, Loveline, and John and Jeff. The station used the name "97.1 FM Talk." Failing to reach much of an audience, the station shifted towards more political talk in 2002, adding such talkers as Don Imus, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity. The station briefly changed its name to "97-1 the Link...Real Life Radio" but soon returned to the "FM Talk" moniker.
The call sign was modified from KFTK to KFTK-FM on September 8, 2016. On September 15, 2016, KFTK-FM began simulcasting on AM 1490 WQQX, renamed KFTK, and FM translator station 98.7 K254CR to improve the station's coverage in downtown St. Louis and the Illinois side of the market.
KFTK-FM is the only talk station in the St. Louis market that carries a sizable number of nationally syndicated radio shows. The two main talk stations in St. Louis, KTRS and KMOX carry mostly local programs. KTRS runs Jim Bohannon and First Light, while KMOX airs The Rush Limbaugh Show and Overnight America with Jon Grayson.
- "Call Sign History (KFTK-FM)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- Venta, Lance (September 15, 2016). "FM NewsTalk 97.1 St. Louis Adds Two Additional Signals". RadioInsight. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- Query the FCC's FM station database for KFTK
- Radio-Locator information on KFTK
- Query Nielsen Audio's FM station database for KFTK
- Newstalk 97.1 Facebook